Thursday, January 21, 2010

in which i dream of pastures and farms

it's raining. again. last time i posted, it was raining as well, and for several solid wintry storms to come so low as sunny california in so short a time is pretty atypical. dreary weather has swallowed us up. and i love it.

if it weren't for winter and its precipitative nature, how would i sustain my garden come summer? last week, i ordered my warm-weather seeds. i'm anxiously awaiting their arrival. living in a USDA zone 9 affords a long growing season; i'll start some seeds in cell packs as soon as i can. propagation methods will not differ greatly from last year's, but the varieties of seeds i selected do. my choosy tendencies come into play here!

though our garden plot is not large by any means, i do feel like a real, grown-up gardener when things are growing well and producing. growing and nurturing the garden makes me appreciate those farmers that work on larger farms, or those farmers who didn't have the modern conveniences we do today...

i suppose that maybe the daydreams of warmer days and turning soil was already in my head when i started scouring ravelry for a new knit project. i had a skein of malabrigo worsted in glazed carrot in the stash -- one i'd bought last summer when i saw the lone skein of it sitting in the store. i'd been feeling that a cowl in that orangey color would be perfect in all of this gray weather, especially since i walk about in a charcoal gray jacket, jeans and dark shoes most days. i came across gudrun's crofter's cowl and cast on immediately. the cowl is unlike any other i've knit, with a unique construction: you knit two halves then graft them together. the three-repeat pattern for each half is a shetland lace, which is beautifully showcased with the single ply, lofty malabrigo.


this project definitely required stitch markers, though i believe it was due to the fact that i was watching heavy doses of HGTV while knitting and staying dry inside. i worried that my kitchener's stitch was too tight and created a visibly invisible seam, but i think that what looks like a seam is more the cause of the color variegation typical of malabrigo. in any case, when the cowl is all slouchy on the neck, the midline is the least visible part...

in other knitting news, my modified annikki is almost done. yes, really! the sleeves were done last week, i cast off the back last night, and am halfway up the left front. besides the most basic mods i noted over here, i have also made further changes mid-knit. i've been certain to take notes and hopefully i continue to make progress in the right direction. once i finish, you'll be the first to know, of course!

14 comments:

TD wool design said...

indeed! awesome color and nice for those dreary days!
can't wait to see your sweater done!

t does wool said...

beautiful Melana...
and seeds...gardening...sounds divine...it is till very much winter here...soon maybe....seeds and spring as well.

Kristyn Knits said...

this color looks happy!
and we need happy colors when the sun isn't shining!

Hilary said...

Just beautiful, M!!! Absolutely perfect for these dreary days, and that orange is so pretty with your hair. Speaking of these dreary days, this rain is making me so happy, too! The news here in the Bay Area keeps talking about it like the world is about to end, and I get really irritated every time they say, "But a break is coming!" I don't want a break! My farming family is thrilled...last year they got, I believe, zero water allocation (or, like 10%), so this will help.

wishiwerebuffy said...

Beautiful.

It's rainy in Kentucky too.

knittergal said...

Love the colour if this...it's perfect! Enjoy the rain, we're enjoying a few days without the wet stuff.

Rachel said...

It seems like the perfect cowl and color to fight the dreary days of winter and to add spark to your charcoal coat!

Talking of gardening in January..wow! We are still very much in winter here...considering our 4 month, 5 if lucky, growing season I'm envious of your zone!

Linda said...

Thats a lovely cowl, such a nice colour.

rosemary said...

yes rainy days are great for knitting !
your cowl looks stunning on you, and i can't wait to see your annikki!

hope you like the soup recipe

Jane said...

oooo, love it! I love anything that Gudrun designs...as evidence on my blog today. Will have to check out that cowl as I have some Malibrigo laying around.

主場秀 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stitching under oaks said...

I'm gearing up for a garden this summer...once we determine where we get the best light. do you have a favorite place that you order your seeds from? I love your cowl...I like the slouchiness of it and the height. I'll have to look at that pattern. The color you chose is just great. Thanks for sharing.

ImplausibleYarn said...

I love that color! Its perfect for winter!

amanda said...

Absolutely perfect for your charcoal coat! Looking forward to seeing annikki!